US general says IS in Afghanistan linked to parent group

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. Army general in charge of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan says the Islamic State group presence in the country is directly linked to the parent organization in Iraq and Syria.

Gen. John Nicholson, speaking to The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, says IS loyalists in Afghanistan have financial, communications and strategic connections with the main IS leadership based in a self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

IS bases in the eastern province of Nagharhar are currently being targeted by an Afghan military offensive, backed by U.S. troops. The offensive, part of the Afghan army’s Operation Shafaq, began on Saturday, hours after the IS group claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in the capital Kabul that killed around 80 people.

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